Giants RB Saquon Barkley thinks Lions legend Barry Sanders could still play in NFL
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley is known to be an avid fan of Barry Sanders. The ascending star rusher went as far as to say that he believes that Sanders could still play in the NFL.
Saquon Barkley says Barry Sanders is the one player from the #NFL100 Super Bowl commercial who could still play today.
— Matt Lombardo (@MattLombardoNFL) August 27, 2019
It’s one thing to say the retired Detroit Lions running back is in good shape, but it’s another to say he could elude defenders in today’s NFL—at 51-years old. Similarly to Andrew Luck, Sanders suddenly retired at the age of 30 in 1999.
The running back spent 10 seasons in the NFL with the Lions and usually players retire due to age, injuries, or performance, but none of those things were an issue to end his career. In Sanders’ final season in 1998, he rushed for 1,491 yards and three touchdowns.
All signs point to Sanders walking away from the NFL due to the lack of winning that went on in Detroit in his career. Furthermore, Sanders actually received interest from multiple teams following his retirement.
As for Barkley, the Giants second-year rusher has had his running style compared to Sanders. In his rookie season in 2018, Barkley showcased his elusiveness and strength on his way to winning the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.
At 5-foot-11, 230-plus pounds, the Penn State product is slightly bigger than Sanders, but both are phenomenal runners in their own right. The Giants running back is also 29 years younger than the legendary running back.
Therefore, don’t expect to see the longtime Lions running back carrying a football in the NFL again anytime soon.